Four days after the Versova road overbridge developed cracks, the Thane Rural police shut traffic movement for three months to carry out repairs.
Traffic movement had been hit as the 42-year-old bridge connecting Mira Road, Bhiwandi and Mumbai started crumbling and was noticed by the patrolling boats of Thane Rural police.
The 500m-long bridge, built on Versova creek, is a direct link to connect the suburbs areas like Vasai and Naigaon going towards Ahmedabad. A new one was built recently for traffic going towards Mumbai. After the cracks were spotted, the bridge was partially shut with only light motor vehicles going towards Ahmedabad being allowed to use the bridge.
After the bridge developed cracks, heavy vehicles were diverted towards Bhiwandi, Thane and Mumbai, leading to a massive traffic jam from Versova bridge to Vasai phata — covering around 20kms.
“The bridge was repaired in 2000 but severe cracks were detected. The National Highway Authority of India officials decided to replace the 48-metre-long stretch of the bridge. It will take at least three months to complete repairs,” said a police officer.
“We have to shut it completely for three months to repair it. We urge motorists to use public transport to go to Mumbai,” said Anil Kumbhare, district superintendent of police, Thane Rural.
The Thane Rural police has deployed two superintendents of police, two deputy superintendents, 100 policemen and seven senior police inspectors to monitor the traffic movement. The Traffic and Highway police are also helping them. “The new bridge has been converted to two lanes and traffic movement will be hit due to heavy vehicles going towards Mumbai,” said Kumbhare.
Sangramsinh Nishandar, additional superintendent of police, Thane Rural, said they have sent SMS alerts to residents.